About 6 months ago, I joined a secret cult. And honestly, it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done.
(Mum, if you’re reading this don’t worry. This cult allows me to stay in contact with my family 😉 )
Before you start thinking I’ve gone off the deep end, let me clarify a few things.
- This cult isn’t a religious one
- They don’t require you to give them all of your money (or any of it!)
- You’re still allowed to have access to your family and friends
- You don’t live in a commune
- There’s no leader
So you’re probably thinking, I came here to read about this insane cult that you joined. So spew.
The secret cult I’ve joined is called the “FIRE cult.”
Wait, what the heck is the FIRE cult and why would I want to join?!
Good question, my friend.
“FIRE” stands for “Financial Independence Retire Early.”
For FIRE members, what this means is living below your means, saving a ton of money, reaching financial independence, then retiring.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
What FIRE looks like for you will probably look very different to what it looks like for someone else. That’s the beauty of FIRE – you can define it however you want.
You might want to set your goal age for retirement at 40. Maybe you’re a spring chicken and you think you can make it to retirement by 30. Awesome, go for it. There are no rules to FIRE.
Hold up – do I need to live like a pauper?
Again, you set the rules. You don’t have to do anything.
Most people who are part of FIRE live substantially below their means, saving as much as 50% of their income.
This is one of the easiest ways to achieve financial independence and retire early. But you don’t have to subsist off of ramen noodles and keep your house like an ice-box in winter.
In fact, I’m not a huge fan of cutting out every single little thing that isn’t “essential.” Life is meant to be enjoyed – if painting your nails bright colors makes you happy then buy that bright pink bottle of nail polish. You can easily make back the $5.
Instead, sign up for a free Personal Capital account and start tracking your spending. You’ll start to see trends of where your money is disappearing too pretty soon.
Then, decide what is actually a waste of money, i.e. you don’t need it and it doesn’t truly make you happy.
But I can’t afford to save 50% of my income…
Don’t worry. Even if you drastically cut down on your living expenses, most of us can’t afford to save 50% of our current income.
So here’s the deal. You need to find ways to make extra money and then save it.
Finding ways to make extra money isn’t as hard as you might think. I do it all the time.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Start a blog
- Hold a yard sale
- Complete online surveys
- Make money on your smartphone
- Start a side business
But I actually like my job. I don’t want to quit it early.
So do I. I freakin’ love my job. I’ll never quit.
That’s the beauty of FIRE. You can keep working if you want to.
But if you change your mind, you don’t have to stay because you’ve built up such a financial buffer that you have the freedom to quit your job, cut down your hours – whatever you want.
Ok, I wanna join. How do I get initiated?
If you want to join the FIRE cult, then welcome.
You’re officially part of the group.
There’s no initiation, no secret ceremonies, no crazy rituals. It’s just a group of people from all walks of life who want to do away with the 9-5, retire early, and live life of their own terms.
So tell me, are you going to join FIRE?